Choosing What To Paint

In choosing what to paint, it can be helpful to try to analyse what you connect to in someone else’s work.  Why?

Because it may well be that this is a source of rich inspiration for you. For example, how might you interpret it in your own way? I’m not talking about the subject matter necessarily. It could be that, but it could also be other elements that caught your attention: the colours, the texture of the paint, the way the light is falling and so on.

Choosing - The Elements 30x22 Kadira Jennings

The Elements 30×22″ Kadira Jennings


  • So once have chosen WHAT to paint, there will be many other decisions along the way.
  • Painting is a constant flow of choices, all of which contribute to how it will end up.
  • If you can’t choose what to do next, which is the best colour choice and so on, your painting will not get very far. Always the big fear is ‘Am I going to wreck it if I do x?” and the closer to completion of the work, the bigger this fear becomes.
  • What can you do? Take your courage firmly in hand and just DO IT!
  • What is the worst that can happen? You may feel that you have wrecked the painting however what is true is that you will have LEARNT something.
  • Choosing, always leads to LEARNING. We have either learnt what works, or what doesn’t work and so painting is a learning building process. Your next work is always informed by choices you have made in previous works. This is how we progress.
  • We can also be ground to a standstill by having ‘too many’ choices. So it is always better to try and narrow down your field of choice if possible.  Don’t try to tackle too many different things at once.
  • You can focus on different areas for improvement of your work for example. But don’t try to do everything at once. In one work, you might focus on getting tones rightin relation to colours or you might be paying careful attention to conveying a particular feeling or emotion.  Focus on what is most important in the moment.

This Weeks Question: What are you choosing to work on now and what has influenced that choice?

Look For Thursday’s Post: But wait – there’s more…..!

Next Monday’s Post: A look at another of the artist’s qualities which is closely related to Choosing – Committing.